Meanwhile, Arthur Beaufort's own complaints, which grew serious and menaced consumption, recalled his thoughts more and more every day to himself. He was compelled to abandon his career at the University, and to seek for health in the softer breezes of the South.
He always added, however: "In mind nothing great save devotion to truth and duty." Though a soldier, and at last very eminent as a soldier, he retained from the beginning to the end of his career the entire temper and character of an ideal civilian. He did not sink the man in the military man.
He soon found a kind and munificent patron in Fulk Greville, a highborn and highbred man, who seems to have had in large measure all the accomplishments and all the follies, all the virtues and all the vices, which, a hundred years ago, were considered as making up the character of a fine gentleman. Under such protection, the young artist had every prospect of a brilliant career in the capital.
"But I do; I believe I can help you. I believe that you and I together can have a most brilliant career. Shall we work in harness? Shall we become husband and wife? Don't start; don't say no at first. Think it over: it would be an admirable arrangement." "So it would," said Florence. Her answer came out quietly. She looked full into Franks's cold grey eyes, and burst into a mirthless laugh.
Had the dinner taken place, it would have shown him the estimation in which he was really held, and would have modified or destroyed any prejudices entertained towards him by others, if any such existed. Up to this period in his public career, Cooper had certainly not done anything to undermine his popularity. He now entered upon a line of conduct which it is charity to call blundering.
Your being where I shall never see you isn't a thing I shall enjoy; I know that from the separation of these last months after our beautiful life in Paris, the best thing that ever happened to me or that ever will. But if it's your career, if it's your happiness well, I can miss you and hold my tongue. I can be disinterested I can!"
In short, as he could attain his unholy end in no other way, Morris entered on a career of mild deception, designed to prevent his wife from suspecting him of she knew not what. His conduct was that of a man engaged in an intrigue. In his case, however, the possible end of his ill-doing was not the divorce-court, but an asylum, or so some observers would have anticipated.
Many critics say that he was wanting in the true military instinct and spirit, and that he lost the greatest opportunity in his career when he allowed himself to be attracted away from the British lines of communication by the feeble, peregrinating columns.
As I look back I can hardly understand how you ever bore with me as you did, with me who abused you to such unbounded lengths. Nevertheless, the more I fail to understand this, the more thankful I am to you. I am sure you will care to know something of my career in the past ten years, and I briefly relate the principal items of interest.
"What a low creature!" was the instant retort to any incursions of this kind. One of the secrets of Lloyd George's career was that he always made his opponents too angry to appraise him correctly. They simply couldn't do it. A little cold-blooded study of him and his past history would have served them well.